Wieckowski to honor local API Americans at 6th Annual Ceremony in Fremont

May 6, 2016

FREMONT – Four local community leaders from Alameda and Santa Clara counties who are active in education, technology, arts, culture and the non-profit sectors will be honored by state Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) at his 6th Annual Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Leadership Awards ceremony Thursday, May 12 in Fremont.  

“Each of these individuals illustrates in their own way the broad contributions made by the Asian Pacific Islander community in the region,” Wieckowski said.  “Year after year, their level of civic engagement is nonstop.  I am honored to take a moment to recognize their accomplishments and service.”

The honorees are: Demos Punsalan, Fremont; Ray and Priya Mitra, Castro Valley; and Linda Chen, San Jose.

WHO:             State Senator Bob Wieckowski

WHAT:          6th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony

WHERE:       Olive Hyde Mission Room, 123 Washington Blvd., Fremont, CA

WHEN:          5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, 2016

Punsalan is a co-founder of California Technological Care, (CTC) a non-profit organization that has aimed to bridge the “digital divide” and combat computer illiteracy in underserved communities since 1999. In this role, he has worked to collect, refurbish, donate and install computers with internet access in public schools in need throughout the Bay Area, Central Valley, Asia, Africa, and South America. He is also a frequent volunteer for various civic programs, including Meals on Wheels, the Philippine Earthquake Relief Project and the AIDS Foundation.

Chen is a long-time community leader in San Jose and has been recognized for her tireless efforts. She served two terms as a Berryessa Union School District trustee in San Jose, including serving as president. She is the founder of the annual “Holiday Seasons” and Lunar New Year events in Berryessa, as well as a chief organizer for the Berryessa Relay for Life program. Chen also teaches Mandarin in the Campbell Union High School District.

The Mitras are founders of Induz, a non-profit organization founded in 2004, that is dedicated to fostering arts and culture education in the Bay Area, India, and Africa. Recognizing the lack of access to art and music programs in schools, the Mitras launched the “Passport to the World Arts” program in conjunction with local schools, libraries and the YMCA to bring arts education to low-income school districts throughout Silicon Valley. Their programs have been showcased at various art museums, including the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) in Oakland and the San Francisco Airport Museum.   

Senator Wieckowski’s 10th Senate District includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.